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Microsoft Still Has A Chance To Get Into The Tablet Game: Citigroup Report

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Though Microsoft's beleaguered attempts to produce a market-worthy tablet have thus failed to make a dent in the market, a new report says that the Redmond company can still turn it around.

Reuters reports that according to Citigroup analysts, Microsoft can still pick up significant market share by 2013, when they expect 75 million tablets to ship. Though the next operating system is not expected to start shipping till 2012 at the earliest, it's been rumored that Microsoft could debut a tablet-optimized OS as soon as next week.

"Microsoft can have a meaningful share of the market in 2013 and beyond. Of course this is dependent upon the company's ability to deliver a competitive operating system on partner hardware that is priced competitively," Citigroup said.

Still, Citigroup is not exactly predicting a Microsoft triumph. At the moment Apple, with its iPad and iPad two, dominates the tablet market and had over 80 percent share in 2010. Analysts predict, however, that component shortages will keep tablet prices high through 2011, meaning that competitors will still be able to reach users who have been prevented from buying the devices due to the cost.

Microsoft's success could depend on its hold on the enterprise. If it can convince business users--many of whom are used to working on Windows computers--to buy its tablets, it would pick up a considerable number of users.

And Android's failure may be Microsoft's gain. Business Insider points out that despite the array of Android alternatives already available, none has yet managed to beat the iPad. If Microsoft can produce a tablet that rivals the iPad in user interface, it could still win some customers over.

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